Sep 11, 2014

Review: To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful


To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful
To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful by Shane Koyczan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



REVIEW:

One of the most compelling and beautiful books I have read. We all are becoming more aware of bullying's long lasting or lethal effects, but this book is a true work of art. The illustrations as well as the words really touched my heart. I would recommend this book for everyone, young & old.


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


An authentic rallying cry for anyone who has been affected by bullying.

In February 2013, Shane Koyczan's passionate anti-bullying poem "To This Day" electrified the world. An animated video of the lyric narrative went viral, racking up over 12 million hits to date and inspiring an international movement against bullying in schools. Shane later performed the piece to sustained applause on the stage of the 2013 annual TED Conference.

Now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany "To This Day." Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant.

Born of Shane's own experiences of being bullied as a child, To This Day expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience. A heartfelt preface and afterword, along with resources for kids affected by bullying, make this book an invaluable centerpiece of the anti-bullying movement.

See the video version of the poem on YouTube:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltun92DfnPY




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Sep 10, 2014

Review: The 12 Screams of Christmas


The 12 Screams of Christmas
The 12 Screams of Christmas by R.L. Stine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



REVIEW:

This R. L. Stine Goosebumps was a huge thrill as most of them are. It is wonderful that this story of Kate's crosses over into the Christmas season. It is unbelievable that Kate can see the dead, and that causes her to get made fun of a lot of course. Once the story moves over into Kate's actual interactions with the ghosts I kept tensing up because you never know if the book's hero is going to save the day or join the dead in these world famous Goosebumps books.

Goosebumps' spook & surprise has kept teens & preteens hooked for a few decades now and this latest installment does not disappoint. Kate kept me tense and flipping pages wondering if she was going to make it through. I wanted to choke the Courtney character myself a few times. I was given this book to provide an honest review of.

True Goosebumps fashion. Scary, teen / preteen appropriate, nail biting, chill factor all present & accounted for!


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The infamous, Most Wanted Goosebumps characters are out on the loose and after you. For the first time ever, it's a Goosebumps Christmas!

Kate Welles doesn't want to be special. She just wants to play the lead in her school's Christmas play. Her annoying "friend" Courtney is constantly getting in the way of that. Can you even call someone a "friend" if all they do is make fun of you and ruin everything all of the time? But Kate has to get along with Courtney or else neither of them will be allowed to take part in The 12 Screams of Christmas.

Kate and Courtney's teacher decides they need to find a special place to rehearse. A certain house with a special history. The kind of place that Kate would normally be pretty frightened to go into. The kind of place that gives new meaning to the term: Christmas Spirit.



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Review: Divided


Divided
Divided by Elsie Chapman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



REVIEW:

I read and loved the first book, but found myself feeling like . . . Is it over yet towards the end of this 2nd book Divided. I liked that the book gave a little more information about the society they are trying to survive in and had hopes that now West could find a way to make life better for those who have not had to fight their alt yet. Of course, her helping train less wealthy youths helps.

There were some good fight scenes, action and suspense, but I guess after a while I just got tired with the feeling she was trapped and helpless to do anything about it because of a corrupt government. I appreciate West's attempts and successes at doing the right thing.

I was given this book to provide an honest opinion of. I can see that many young adults would enjoy the culture and need to use their own creativity as to how to get around a corrupt setting such as in this story. Very relatable and gives young readers much to think about and be thankful for.




BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .

West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.

The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.

How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.



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Sep 5, 2014

Review: Day 21


Day 21
Day 21 by Kass Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I am reviewing The 100 & Day 21 both because my opinion applies to both books equally.

Once I began the books that I received free for an honest review, I already knew there was a TV series based on the book before I began reading it. I had never saw the TV series though. After reading this book, I became interested to know about the series. The book is better than the series. I could actually understand the book better than I could the series. The TV series isn't going on the same line as the book which makes me nuts. Perhaps if I hadn't read the books first I'd like the TV show better.

The books were a little too lovey in places. These teens have risked their lives & safety to be together, but then they near instantly fall for someone else? Heck maybe that's teens tho ..haha. I did like the general idea of the books (plot, setting, etc.).

I would like to have heard a little more about every day on the space ship. It was apparently very restricted and somewhat segregated (good neighborhood / bad, snobs etc... Pretty much that hadn't changed).

I enjoyed reading the teen's descriptions / first impressions of Earth. It kind of makes you want to go outside and be thankful we have a beautiful Earth now that we need to protect to keep that way. A reminder that we all get so busy that we forget to look at the beauty all around us. I was given these books to provide an honest review / opinion on.

I think I will continue to watch the TV series even though I didn't like it as much as the books just to see what happens.
The books were both worth the read even though the teens seem more worried about love and smoochie than survival and forming a relationship with the survivors already on Earth, but they are teens so what do you expect.


BOOK DESCRIPTION: for The 100

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

BOOK DESCRIPTION FOR: Day 21

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.
In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together.



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Review: The 100


The 100
The 100 by Kass Morgan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



REVIEW: For The 100 & Day 21

Once I began this book that I received free for an honest review, I already knew there was a TV series based on the book before I began reading it. I had never saw the TV series though. After reading this book, I became interested to know about the series. The book is better than the series. I could actually understand the book better than I could the series. The TV series isn't going on the same line as the book which makes me nuts. Perhaps if I hadn't read the book first I'd like the TV show better.

The book was a little too lovey in places. These teens have risked their lives & safety to be together, but then they near instantly fall for someone else? Heck maybe that's teens tho ..haha. I did like the general idea of the book and also read the book Day 21 & have the same opinion of both books.

I would like to have heard a little more about every day on the space ship. It was apparently very restricted and somewhat segregated (good neighborhood / bad, snobs etc... Pretty much that hadn't changed).

I enjoyed reading the teen's descriptions / first impressions of Earth. It kind of makes you want to go outside and be thankful we have a beautiful Earth now that we need to protect to keep that way. A reminder that we all get so busy that we forget to look at the beauty all around us.

I think I will continue to watch the TV series even though I didn't like it as much as the books just to see what happens.
The books were both worth the read even though the teens seem more worried about love and smoothie than survival and forming a relationship with the survivors already on Earth, but they are teens so what do you expect.




BOOK DESCRIPTION: for The 100

In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

BOOK DESCRIPTION FOR: Day 21

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.
In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together.



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Review: Bob's Hungry Ghost


Bob's Hungry Ghost
Bob's Hungry Ghost by Geneviève Côté

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



BOOK REVIEW:

I loved this children's book. Although Bob was disappointed that he got a ghost for his birthday rather than a puppy, after some fun mishaps they come to terms. This is a wonderful story about giving situations or people / friends a second look and discovering they may have wonderful things you never imagined.

I was given this book free from publishers for an honest review.

The story made me think of friendship. How at first you might not like someone, but if you look closer you can come to appreciate your differences and be an unbelievable pair together. Very cute illustrations and wonderful message for young kids (and the rest of us too).



BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Bob wants a dog for his birthday, but instead he gets a ghost ... and its name is Fluffy. Unfortunately, Fluffy doesn't fetch, sit or go for walks. But he does eat everything, and soon all of Bob's things and even Bob himself end up in Fluffy's belly. Will Bob find a way to tame his unruly and very hungry ghost? Will Fluffy realize that eating Bob wasn't a very nice thing to do? All ends well in this sweet and silly look at appreciating what you have. And everyone will want a ghost for their birthday after reading this book.



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Aug 30, 2014

Review: Fatal Consequences


Fatal Consequences
Fatal Consequences by J.G. Faherty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



REVIEW:

This book was just what a I needed. A full on blood pumping scare. I loved the suspense and the haunted feelings Alec had about what he had gone through. The scenes were absolutely creepy and freaky enough to keep me turning the pages. I am so glad I was given this book free for a n honest review.

The book started with action immediately and kept going straight through til the end. I wasn't sure about the ending, but that is fine. . . Who wants to always guess the ending ? I thought there might be a logical answer at one point and was just excited to keep reading. I hate to give anything away, but this book has the thing that creeps me out the most... It is great.

The author even managed to work in that their camping started as a result of Cub Scouts, which I will definitely think about on our next Cub Scout camping trip. The author done a great job of starting out strong and holding a fast pace til the end. No time for boredom.



BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Every decision carries a price.

Alec Winter is a man haunted by his own cowardice. When a bear attacked his family

during a camping trip, he ran and hid. When he returned, his children were dead and his

wife badly injured. But everyone believes he’s a hero because he led rescuers back in time to

save her. Ever since then, his children’s deaths have haunted him. Now, on the anniversary

of the attack, strange things begin happening. The people who helped Alec are dying in very

violent ways, leaving him to wonder if guilt has finally driven him crazy...or if something far

worse is coming for him.






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Review: The Mutts Diaries


The Mutts Diaries
The Mutts Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



REVIEW:

I haven't read the Mutts in years. This comic is laid out as if drawn on notebook paper (apparently a big thing these days). The animals are as sweet, cute and funny as ever.

I was provided this book by the publisher for an honest review. It is good to see that some things that have been around a while still touch the hearts if animal lovers. I love pets and found these comics very funny & also containing a lot of truth. Very funny read.



BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 The beloved characters in Mutts have a special appeal to kids. The warm humor and friendship between unlikely characters create a special blend. Earl is a small mutt with a big heart who cheerfully tugs at the leash on the walk of life. Earl is Mooch the cat's innocent friend, as well as a witness to Mooch's antics, and is sometimes a reluctant participant. Mooch has a fuzzy way of thinking and exclaiming "Yesh!" when really excited. Lively, animated, confident, and silly, Mooch is a smorgasbord of emotions who dances with enthusiasm and sings a lot. Mooch is the curious instigator of action, while the ever-loyal Earl often gets pulled into the fray.

 Created in 1994, Mutts appears in more than 700 newspapers and in 20 countries. McDonnell has received numerous awards for this strip, including the National Cartoonists Society's highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year, six Harvey Awards for Best Comic Strip, Germany's Max and Moritz Award for Best International Comic Strip, and the Swedish Academy of Comic Art's Adamson Statuette. Mutts has also won awards for its environmental and animal advocacy, including two Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust, The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment, the PETA Humanitarian Award, and a Sierra Club award.



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